Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CHURCH WARDEN AND THE CURATE, by ALFRED TENNYSON



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE CHURCH WARDEN AND THE CURATE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Eh? Good daay! Good daay! Thaw it bean't not mooch of a daay
Last Line: Fur they leaved their nasty sins I' my pond, an' it poison'd the cow.
Alternate Author Name(s): Tennyson, Lord Alfred; Tennyson, 1st Baron; Tennyson Of Aldworth And Farringford, Baron
Subject(s): Language; Words; Vocabulary


I

EH? good daay! good daay! thaw it bean't not mooch of a daay,
Nasty, casselty weather! an' mea haafe down wi' my haay!

II

How be the farm gittin on? noaways. Gittin on i'deead!
Why, tonups was haafe on 'em fingers an' toas, an' the mare
brokken-kneead,
An' pigs didn't sell at fall, an' wa lost wer Haldeny cow,
An' it beats ma to knaw wot she died on, but wool's looking
oop ony how.

III

An' soa they've maade tha a parson, an' thou'll git along, niver fear,
Fur I bean chuch-warden mysen i' the parish fur fifteen year.
Well -- sin ther bea chuch-wardens, ther mun be parsons an' all,
An' if t'one stick alongside t'uther the chuch weant happen a fall.

IV

Fur I wur a Baptis wonst, an' agean the toithe an' the raate,
Till I fun that it warn't not the gaainist waay to the narra Gaate.
An' I can't abear 'em, I can't, fur a lot on 'em coom'd ta-year --
I wur down wi' the rheumatis then -- to my pond to wesh
thessens theere --
Sa I sticks like the ivin as long as I lives to the owd chuch now,
Fur they wesh'd their sins i' my pond, an' I doubts they
poison'd the cow.

V

Ay, an' ya seed the Bishop. They says 'at he coom'd fra nowt --
Burn i' traade. Sa I warrants 'e niver said haafe wot 'e thowt,
But 'e creeapt an' 'e crawl'd along, till 'e feeald 'e
could howd 'is oan,
Then 'e married a great Yerl's darter, an' sits o' the
Bishop's throan.

VI

Now I'll gie tha a bit o' my mind an' tha weant be taakin' offence,
Fur thou be a big scholard now wi' a hoonderd haacre o' sense --
But sich an obstropulous lad -- naay, naay -- fur I minds tha sa well,
Tha'd niver not hopple thy tongue, an' the tongue's sit afire o' Hell,
As I says to my missis to-daay, when she hurl'd a plaate at the cat
An' anoother agean my noase. Ya was niver sa bad as that.

VII

But I minds when i' Howlaby beck won daay ya was ticklin' o' trout,
An' keeaper 'e seed ya an roon'd, an' 'e beal'd to ya 'Lad coom hout'
An' ya stood oop naakt i' the beck, an' ya tell'd 'im to
knaw his awn plaace
An' ya call'd 'im a clown, ya did, an' ya thraw'd the fish
i' 'is faace,
An' 'e torn'd as red as a stag-tuckey's wattles, but theer an' then
I coamb'd 'im down, fur I promised ya'd niver not do it agean.

VIII

An' I cotch'd tha wonst i' my garden, when thou was a
height-year-howd,
An' I fun thy pockets as full o' my pippins as iver they'd 'owd,
An' thou was as pearky as owt, an' tha maade me as mad as mad,
But I says to tha 'keeap 'em, an' welcome' fur thou was the
Parson's lad.

IX

An' Parson 'e 'ears on it all, an' then taakes kindly to me,
An' then I wur chose Chuch-warden an' coom'd to the top o' the tree,
Fur Quoloty's hall my friends, an' they maakes ma a help to the poor,
When I gits the plaate fuller o' Soondays nor ony chuch-warden afoor,
Fur if iver thy feyther 'ed riled me I kep' mysen meeak as a lamb,
An' saw by the Graace o' the Lord, Mr. Harry, I ham wot I ham.

X

But Parson 'e will speak out, saw, now 'e be sixty-seven,
He'll niver swap Owlby an' Scratby fur owt but the Kingdom o' Heaven;
An' thou'll be 'is Curate 'ere, but, if iver tha means to git 'igher,
Tha mun tackle the sins o' the Wo'ld, an' not the faults o'
the Squire.
An' I reckons tha'll light of a livin' somewheers i' the
Wowd or the Fen,
If tha cottons down to thy betters, an' keeaps thysen to thysen.
But niver not speak plaain out, if tha wants to git forrards a bit,
But creeap along the hedge-bottoms, an' thou'll be a Bishop yit.

XI

Naay, but tha mun speak hout to the Baptises here i' the town,
Fur moast on 'em talks agean tithe, an' I'd like tha to
preach 'em down,
Fur they've bin a-preachin' mea down, they heve, an' I haates 'em now,
Fur they leaved their nasty sins i' my pond, an' it poison'd the cow.







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